Since September the Seasons of Media Arts Festival has transformed the city of Karlsruhe, which a year ago was awarded the title of UNESCO City of Media Arts, into a stage for media art. The show, which was initiated jointly by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the ZKM Center for Art and Media, has been extended to run into 2021 because of the current situation and the contact restrictions due to the pandemic. Some of the works will be on show for longer than originally planned; new ones will be added over the next weeks and months.
“Art and culture are very important especially in the current situation to enable new perspectives, provide orientation, and promote social cohesion. The Seasons of Media Arts is also the product of good partnerships and cooperation. This strengthens us as a city of media art and creativity, brings new stimuli, and has an integrating effect on our city’s society” says Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup.
Works on show at the moment include pieces by the artists Aram Bartholl, Michael Bielicky, Kamila B. Richter and Alex Wenger, Jonas Denzel, Betty Rieckmann, Sabine Schäfer, Ulrich Singer, and Xenorama. Since November 13, Funkelnder Kubus (Sparkling Cube) by Walter Giers is on view at the ZKM Cube. This light installation is a reconstruction of a work created in the early 2000s. Stroboscopic lights flash unexpectedly on the building’s glass facade and transform it into a sparkling light sculpture visible from afar. From November 22 the audiovisual presentation Our City by Marco Zampella and Alexander Liebrich will be on view on the facade of the Turmberg in Karlsruhe-Durlach. Via digital interfaces this work allows visitors to become part of a creative process and engage with others artistically. From January 2021 works by the artists PONG.Li Studios, Eva Judkins and Holger Förterer, plus Marie Sester will be presented in Karlsruhe’s urban spaces.
“In these difficult times of the Covid-19 crisis,” says Professor Peter Weibel of the ZKM, “when it is not possible to allow large gatherings of people — and justifiably so — art must leave the indoor rooms of the museum and increasingly move into the outdoor urban spaces. It is an important sign and an optimistic signal that Seasons of Media Arts is being extended.” Thus the inhabitants of Karlsruhe will be able to watch and experience monumental sound, video, and light installations and interactive projections on building facades and streets as well as a variety of events up to the middle of next year. The Head of Karlsruhe’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Dr. Susanne Asche, also finds the Festival impressive, in which many artists from the city are participating. “As a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts we are a part of this international network and we want to send out a strong signal of hope. Art inspires, it fascinates, and it is a force for integration. We want to make art as accessible as possible in the urban space. Always true to the motto: With caution and socially distanced!